Thursday, July 30, 2015

title pic An Edwardian Tea Gown

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on November 18, 2011

After years of admiring the 1910s Tea Gown pattern from Sense & Sensibility Patterns,  I have finally found the time to create my own version of this lovely Edwardian dress!  With the empire waistline, detailed bodice, layered skirt, and ruched sash, the tea gown pattern evokes a sense of femininity from the early 1900s.  You could almost imagine this dress in the “Anne of Avonlea” movie – and while that production was set in 1902, Mrs. Pringle wore a similarly styled gown as her first costume in the film. 

Pattern cover is copyright Sense & Sensibility Patterns

For this dress I chose a lovely iridescent silk shantung which was left over from a wedding dress project, along with a delicate embroidered tulle for the overlay.  Of all the types of lacy fabrics I’ve worked with, embroidered tulles are by far my favorite material, even more than French laces or embroidered organzas.  There’s just something so dainty and elegant about trailing roses embroidered over English netting or tulle, especially when finished with a scalloped edge. 

I modified the bodice pattern slightly by hand sewing curved pieces of this tulle as an overlay for part of the bodice front.  The pieces were carefully cut to use the scalloped edge as a decorative detail at the top of the overlay pieces, which end at the above bust measurement. 

One of my favorite elements of the tea gown pattern is the inset panel which is often a contrasting color.  But I have always thought it begged to be overlaid with lacy trimming, and that’s exactly what I did for my rendition of this gown! 

I took 2″ wide lace and treated it as you would if you were making heirloom “puffing” (gather it on the top and bottom of the lace or fabric strip about 1/2″ away from the edge, and pull up the threads until the gathers are evenly distributed.)  Then I applied the rows of puffed lace to the bodice inset, overlapping the top of the row underneath over the bottom of the row above.  Once the panel was completely covered with lace puffing, I stitched a tiny ivory ribbon right over the center of the gathering threads. 

Embroidered lace motifs are the perfect addition to the kimono sleeves.

For the kimono sleeves, I wanted something that would be a bit daintier than an undecorated sleeve – something still simple in style like the original pattern piece but embellished for an even more feminine look.  Thankfully I have amassed quite a stash of lace appliques, so I pulled out some teardrop shaped lace pieces which remind me very much of a Sew Beautiful magazine project.

The fabric was cut away underneath the lace appliques for a lovely heirloom finish.

After some careful hand sewing, I was able to accomplish a modified version of lace insertion, cutting away the fabric underneath to make the lace like a “window” that you can see through.  I will hopefully be posting a tutorial shortly on how to do lace insertion with an oddly-shaped lace piece such as this one.  Finally, I  trimmed a good three inches off the sleeve length and finished the edges with matching scalloped lace edging.

I haven’t quite finished the gown yet, but it is coming along nicely and I can’t wait to post more pictures once it’s completed.

Happy sewing!


sound of music costumes logo

title pic Liesl’s Dress Customer Pictures & Pattern Review

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on November 10, 2011

Liesl’s Dancing Dress Pattern Review    



Joanna has done a lovely job with the Liesl dress pattern!


Hello, Ladies!  Here are some gorgeous “Liesl dress” pictures which Joanna of “Jo-With-Its-Portfolio” just sent in.  She purchased our “Liesl’s Dancing Dress” pattern to make this costume for her seventeenth birthday, and it turned out beautifully!   



Joanna did a lovely lettuce hem edge just like the pattern suggests.


 Joanna writes, “Dear Katrina,
Hello!  I made my Liesl dress back in June for my 17th birthday party.  I’ve finally gotten outside and taken some decent pictures of it, so I thought I would send them your way.  Thanks so much for the lovely pattern!  I’m very happy with my dress.

You can read her full pattern review of the “Liesl’s Dancing Dress” pattern here.  She also describes how the entire birthday party danced “The Laendler” from The Sound of Music, and jumped from bench to bench just like Liesl did! 






Chiffon is the ideal fabric to achieve those billowy sleeves.


sound of music gazebo at hellbrunn palaceMany thanks to Joanna for sending in these photos!  If you would like to be featured on the Edelweiss Patterns blog page, feel  free to send in photos of a dress you have made from one of our patterns

Happy sewing!


title pic Fall Fashions from 1953

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on October 27, 2011

1950s Dresses for Fall and Winter
In 1953, pencil slim skirts and checked fabrics were the styles of choice for fall fashions.

~  Here are some lovely 1950s Fall Fashion Plates I’d like to share from my collection…

As the air turns colder and the days get shorter, everyone’s thoughts turn toward staying warm in the upcoming season.  But for women, staying warm and staying fashionable can sometimes be tricky to accomplish at the same time!  Since I always like to wear dressy outfits when the need arises, I also continue to thin nylons and open-toed high heels throughout the winter months for feet and legs that feel like icicles.  But back in the 1950s, ladies were at least as conscientious as we are today about looking “smart” no matter the weather, and probably much much more so! 

In this fall fashion article (taken from a 1953 magazine in my collection) the editor Kathryn Day discusses popular fashions for the cold weather months, along with suggested high heels to coordinate with these outfits.  And look at the prices of those shoes!  The description reads, “Under $12″, which must have meant that clothing and shoes cost an awful lot more than they do today (now you can buy a pair of high heels for $12 at the outlet mall!).  Of course back then everything was made in America, which could have had something to do with the expensive price and the difference in the economy…

Three lovely 1950s dresses with fitted bodices and tight belts.

In the dress advertisements above we see a few gorgeous 1950s styles suitable for parties or dressier occasions.   The two black dresses have dainty embellished trimming towards the neckline, one of them with pearls and bugle beads.  Is it my imagination or did they try to make the red-haired lady resemble Lucille Ball?  “I Love Lucy” was in it’s heyday at the time, and in fact this very same magazine issue had a full two-page story about Lucille & Desi Arnaz along with wonderful color photographs.  Something about the way the lady’s lipstick and eyebrows are done remind me of “Lucy” very strongly, and the sidewise glance up at the top is quite a lot like those ridiculous wide-eyed looks Lucille was famous for.


Falling leaves are an appropriate addition to these charming dresses just perfect for autumn.

And finally, here are a couple of darling dresses made from checked gabardine.  I love the dress up at the top of the page, with the almost Victorian bodice and fitted half-belt that only travels from side seam to side seam around the back.  And the lower photograph shows a classy shirtwaist dress with patch pockets and a sturdy belt, a fashion accessory which a 1950s dress was almost never without. 
Stay tuned for more 1950s fashion plates in the future! 
Happy sewing,